The news of improved HDR processing in CS5 was big news to many photographers, especially those that use other HDR products such as Photomatix Pro or HDR PhotoStudio 2. I have been playing with the new feature in CS5 and I think that the jury is still out on this one. Last week my buddy Matt Kloskowski wrote an article comparing CS5 and Photomatix. Matt’s bottom line is that a lot of folks will probably make the switch to CS5 based on the Remove Ghost feature and the lack of noise.
Unified Color, makers of the HDR PhotoStudio program also weighed in on the issue on their own blog. In response to the release of HDRPro in CS5, they had this to say:
“I think Adobe has really missed the mark with respect to HDR. They do the imaging community a disservice by perpetuating the myth of “The HDR Look” to mean grungy, over processed, over saturated, hyper realistic, images with halos that most photographers would go out of their way to avoid when sharpening regular images.”
So where am I on all of this? Well, I’m not sure yet. I see advantages to all of these programs and each one can deliver its own look to an HDR image. I agree with Matt that the Remove Ghost feature is fantastic. Photomatix offers wonderful control and ease of use, especially in creating hyper-realistic image. And HDR PhotoStudio creates probably the most photo-realistic image I have seen in any HDR program. So for now I will probably continue to use all of them until I really find my comfort zone.
Here’s three examples of the same image that I processed with all three programs. I tried to keep the processing fairly equal among each program and then took the final images back to Lightroom for some very minor adjustments. I quickly processed these images for use in the blog post so they aren’t necessarily my best work but it does give a quick look at the three programs. I’ll let you be the judge on what you think is the better image. In the end, it really comes down to personal preference, both in the ease of use and the final look of the image.
HDRPro in CS5
HDR PhotoStudio 2